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Sep 17, 2007 06:43 PM

Extra Good Chicken Stock

I started to make chicken stock this morning and realized that the half chicken I was planning to add was gone...used in another dish. A similar package in the freezer duped me into believing it was still around. Sooo.

I sauteed some onions, threw in about 10 garlic cloves (cut up roughly and mostly unpeeled), some parsley, about 20 chicken wing tips, 3 chicken thighs (bone in), a half of a turkey breast carcass with some meat; and, last but not least, the carcass of a roasted chicken from several days ago with a few accompanying roasted onions and garlic. I tossed this into the pot and added lots of water and one container of chicken stock that was defrosted but not used (until today).

I let this simmer for several hours and even skimmed - something I rarely do to any extent.

I tasted it a while ago with a sprinkle of salt and it was DELICIOUS! Best I've ever made, although there were no carrots or celery. Oh yes, I did put in a couple of bay leaves and some thyme after it had cooked about 3 hours.

So now matzoh ball batter is waiting in the fridge to be made into balls and tossed into the soup. Mmmmm.

Trouble is, without a good deal of trouble, I'll never be able to duplicate this stock again. I always use the wing tips and thigh meat, but the other stuff....

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  1. I bet you can. I have used the carcass before, I don't seem to get much flavor from it.
    I think it was the chicken wings. I love using them.
    Lucky gal, Matzo Ball Soup!!!

    3 Replies
    1. re: chef chicklet

      I get chicken backs from the asian market, and roast them, with some onions. The stock is magnificently flavoured. Very rich. I always freeze the odd bits, such as the wing tips, and roast them as well. It's WELL worth the little extra effort!!

      I bet you get rave reviews on that matzoh ball soup!


      1. re: violabratsche

        One of my favorite ways to do chicken on the grill is to spatchcock them. I cut the backs out and save all the backs and wing tips in the freezer until I have enough to make stock. I agree they make great stock.

        1. re: scubadoo97

          I like to brown the carcass in the oven first, including carrots, celery and onions, if using veggies. Toasting and then slow cooking for at least 4 hours brings out a lot of flavor. Necks and wing tips are good too!

          I would never waste a whole chicken on stock. Boiled chicken meat has got to be one of the least flavorful ways of cooking the meat.

    2. These are fantastic suggestions. I'm learning a lot. I've always used a fresh whole chicken to make stock. But, recently a Mercado Latino opened nearby and they sell chicken and turkey parts very cheap. Great for stock. I can't wait to try it out. I'll also try roasting the necks with onions too.

      1. Well done!

        I must say I love using lots of chicken wings to make stock. My usual mo is to use the carcasses of a couple of previously eaten roast chickens (frozen till I have enough bones), fortified with the chicken wings, which we can buy so cheaply in the shops.

        Now if I could just get my matzoh balls to be fluffier...

        4 Replies
        1. re: Kagey

          Kagey, just made a batch of matzo balls this past weekend and froze them for Yom Kippur. The trick to making them fluffy is to use club soda or seltzer water for the water called for in your recipe. The carbonation acts as leavening in the matzo meal. If you need the entire recipe, let me know.

          1. re: Diane in Bexley

            Diane just saw all your notes and I would love to have the recipe for the Matzo Balls. Right now I use the boxed Manischewiz. I would love to make them as you suggested with the addition of club soda. I hear that is the way to go!

            1. re: Diane in Bexley

              Thanks, Diane. Please do post! I use the recipe from the Manischewiz website, but make the recipe from scratch because I can't find matzoh ball mix where I live in England.

              Also, a question: how do people get their matzoh balls so big? All the recipes I know call for rolling the balls to about the size of a walnut. Mine never get very big if I do that. They do fluff up on the outside, but the center is always a bit dense. Your tips are greatly appreciated!

              1. re: Kagey

                I make a large recipe for matzo balls and freeze them after draining. Spread them individually on a cookie sheet, freeze for an hour or two, then transfer to plastic freezer bag or Food Saver them. This way you can pull out 2 or 4 balls as needed (fav dinner when I'm alone in winter!). I also add dill weed which gives a unique flavor, this is optional. Many recipes call for chicken fat (schmaltz) but canola oil works well and is much healthier.

                8 eggs
                1/2 cup club soda or seltzer water
                1/2 cup canola oil
                2 cups matzo meal
                1 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp white pepper
                3 T dried dill weed (optional)

                Beat eggs with oil and water till fluffy, add seasoning. Gradually add matzo meal till incorporated. Refrigrate bowl for 30-45 minutes. When ready to make, bring 8 qt pot of water to boil with 2T salt (very important to cook in salted water, as this adds flavor). Rinse hands in cold water, shake excess water off very well. Make golf ball size balls, drop in boiling, salted water. Should get 25-30 matzo balls. When all balls are in pot, lower to light simmer, cover and time 30 minutes. When you think balls should be done, uncover, remove one, stick toothpick in to middle, should be cooked all the way through. If not, cook a few minutes more. Drain very well in one layer in colander. When thoroughly drained, freeze as described above or refrigerate.

                This makes medium size matzo balls. I don't care for large ones, but I assume you can make those, just allow additional cooking time. When making soup, heat soup first, then add defrosted balls at last minute, just long enough to warm, so the soup won't be too starchy. Good Luck!

          2. About 2x a month I get 2 large roasted chickens from sams/costco for quick dinners w/leftovers. I guess because the chickens are roasted they make the most incredible stock.

            1. Best stock I ever made was from the carcass of a heritage turkey with a box of chix stock thrown over--extraordinary rich and flavorful. Cheating, perhaps, but can't wait til I can get one of those turkeys again.

              1 Reply
              1. re: Mandymac

                Great poultry stock discussion, needless to say I never waste a poultry carcass, always start the stock with the back, neck, wingtips and giblets but not the liver. Add all the onions, celery, leeks bits you have saved. At the risk of sounding like a broken record, the rest of the carcass should have the bones split open with your kitchen shears so the marrow can be leached to make a rich gelatinous stock. Use some salt to extract the flavor. Turkey bones are tough to split but my best stock came from one of thoses deep fried cajun turkey carcasses, terific flavor.